Close to the heels of SBI announcing its Mobile Banking initiative for under-privileged, Nokia has now partnered with Yes Bank to provide Mobile Money services that will enable consumers to transfer money and make various payments securely through Nokia Mobile Phones.
Initially, consumers will be able to transfer money to another person just by using the person’s mobile phone number, pay utility bills as well as recharge their prepaid SIM cards (SIM top-up). Subsequently, consumers will also be able to pay merchants for goods and services.
The Nokia Mobile Money initiative is based on Obopay’s platform and is initially targeted at growth markets like India and designed to work in partnership with multiple network operators and banks, involving distributors and merchants in a dynamic open ecosystem to seamlessly provide the new services. YES BANK is the first partnership that Nokia has made, which subsequently plans to extend to other banks as well !
Like the SBI initiative, this initiative is also targeted at majority of Indians, who lack access to financial institutions’ and their services – This service eliminates the dependence on the physical presence of a branch or availability of internet banking services and hopes to successfully ride on the deeper penetration of mobile services in India.
The pilot for this initiative will be first carried out in Pune which is one of the biggest metropolitan city in India.
I am sure many such initiatives will follow in coming months and years (especially because Urban mobile users are nearly saturated and Rural India is a different ball game all-together) and each of them will have their own space as the market for these kind of services is huge !